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Poster: not_a_typical_daydream Date: Nov 5, 2006 4:08pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: 1995

I have been listening to lots of '95 today, seems I haven't read anything good about any show, unless you happened to be there. Of course they were better back in '77 and '69 and '85, we were all much better physically back then. Do you remember when you could run 2 miles and not be sore the next day? Does anyone remember when they could drink all night and still go to work the next day feeling like a million bucks?
All I'm trying to say here is, the Grateful Dead in 1995 at their worst are still way better than most anything else.
Man, I miss Jerry. Hang loose.
And as it being football Sunday, I figured the Bears would lose a few times this year, but to the stinkin' Dolphins?

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Poster: JodyC Date: Nov 6, 2006 7:10am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1995

First, its nice to see Mr. Wolf back on the prowl, sinking those fangs into posters again! Second, I had a shamefully long stretch of no Dead shows from '81 until I saw the 5 times between the summer of 94 and 95. I was never able to catch them hundreds of times like a lot of my friends around the NY area where they'd play 5 night shows once or twice a year it seemed, so after not seeing them for so long it was soooooo much fun just to have the bus back in town. They played two night each summer in a nice barn setting, and I saw them them out in Vegas (I blamed their sounds on my drugs and heat!)We had huge pre show and after show parties like the old days and the anticipation of waiting a couple months made me feel like a schoolboy (not sure what that means). We couldn't have had more fun regardless. So, I guess its just a matter of perspective. Max, believe me, you would have dug every show I saw in that "gloomy" period. No matter what, it was the best I had seen in a decade.

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Poster: Scrim Date: Nov 6, 2006 2:46pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1995

I had times in the 80's where I would be sitting there at the concert asking myself "why am I driving hundreds of miles to follow around a bunch of old men?" It would wear off by the next night, but it kept coming back to me at times. Then there would be a kill show, and that really recharged your batteries. I only saw a few shows after Brent left, that killed my tour bug.

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Poster: JodyC Date: Nov 6, 2006 4:38pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1995

Yeah, but the St. Louis shows were about 5 miles from my house, so not a big driving commitment (except the trip home always seemed like days!)

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Poster: JayColodesch Date: Nov 6, 2006 4:31pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1995

There are a few exceptions IMO. I DL'd the GDLive SBD of "Phil & Friends" 9-24-94 from Berkeley Community Center. The 'Friends" were the rest of the GD. All acoustic, single set. For the later years, it is one of my favs.

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Poster: darazn1 Date: Nov 7, 2006 9:03am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1995

There's plenty of music by many many artists far greater than the Dead att their worst in '95. Time to wake up, people! If the Dead at their worst is better than anything else, then there's no way forward in life, music or culture. On the other hand, there's plenty of music, life and culture yet to be explored. To say that there's nothing better is to declare that there's nothing compared to ignorance. I would hate to live a life so closed. The universe does not have any limitations. Why would you declare such limitations?

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Poster: grendelschoice Date: Nov 7, 2006 9:28am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1995

No serious Deadhead can defend 1995 with a straight face.

it's just very sad more than anything, and I mean that in the truest sense of the word "sad", rather than in a pejorative, condescending way.

The vibes were bad, the health was in jeapordy, mentally and physically, they just sounded terrible. Disjointed, flat. The vocals are embarrassing.

All of this especially compared to how great they once were. I find it difficult in fact to defend any year after 1991.

Look, my last show was Highgate '94 in VT., and I had a fantastic time. I rocked and danced and laughed and loved every minute of it....It's a Dead show. But I knew even at the moment (though happily less so) that when I listened later to the tapes as I did, that they simply wouldn't be very good. A few "moments", but overall, a sloppy and less than inspired show , as most were by then.

How I wish Jerry could have walked away from it all in '91, got his health back, rested and reflected and recuperated, announce his departure from the band, and then think how amazing it would be for him to have from that moment on made a few well rehearsed and energetic appearances w/the JGB or other collaborative musicians. He'd play and sound great, I'd wager.

The rest of the boys would have done their own thing as they do now, and it would have been better for everyone.

But things played out likely the only way they could have.

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Poster: Purple Gel Date: Nov 5, 2006 6:15pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1995

I'm not sure I agree that the Dead in 95 were better than most anyone else, I saw them for 5 shows that year and listened to many others. I also saw about 30 other concerts including The Samples, Israel Vibrations, David Bromberg, Bonnie Raitt, Jorma, Bela Fleck, Radiators and the Nevilles, all of which were better shows than any Dead show I saw that year or the previous couple. Of the shows I attended those years, The Dead were average at best, and the thing that kept me coming back was more for the scene and friends I would otherwise not see than for the music.

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Poster: Arbuthnot Date: Nov 5, 2006 6:41pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1995

Best mainstream or semi-mainstream '95 show i saw was Social Distortion. Tiny venue, smoke filled, packed to the gills, energetic crowd. By that date in my life the GD were a foggy memory.

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Poster: Max Chorak Date: Nov 5, 2006 8:23pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1995

direwolf:

" wouldn't have paid $5 bucks to see them in '95. ok, maybe i would have for the scene - but definitely not the show - would have paid more for Max Creek by that point. Just my personal opinion though. "


I never got to see them.. i'm only 18.. but just now i calculated it out.. and i would have willingly paid $500 to see them. For the show =)

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Poster: direwolf0701 Date: Nov 5, 2006 8:31pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1995

sorry you never got to see them. be glad your first shows weren't 93-95 - you would have been disappointed in the music - im not kidding. scene may have been somewhat ok, but the playing was nothing like it was. You are better off experiencing the Dead streaming and cd'ing rather than seeing the abortion that was post 92.

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Poster: Max Chorak Date: Nov 5, 2006 8:49pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1995

yeah it's funny.. i had never listened to even post 80s dead on this archive.. and my first experience was actually with View from the Vault IV.. nevertheless a damn good show.. but it definitely was not the 70's that i was used to listening to.

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Poster: direwolf0701 Date: Nov 5, 2006 8:56pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1995

there are some damn good post 80's shows - i loved the dead up until about early 90 and then i felt they stared slipping big time - the only person that i felt could hold them together in any show past that was Hornsby - being agood friend of jerry probably helped the situation. Personally i loved 87-90 - i thought there were tons on tight fun shows. i Hope you have found some of those. if not, let me know and i will send you a few of the boards. Peace my friend - glad to have you on the LMA forum. dont take my sarcastic comments to heart - it is all in good fun.

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Poster: patkelley Date: Nov 5, 2006 6:36pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1995

Bonnie Raitt? Come on now buddy. I'm sure she rocks, but I'd rather hear the Dead sing "Three Blind Mice" in 95 than listen to a Bonnie Raitt show.

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Poster: direwolf0701 Date: Nov 5, 2006 6:59pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1995

apparently you never saw Bonnie play with jerry during some of the jgb shows in 89 - she totally rocked and the crowd was TOTALLY into her. Bonnie is great live. don't fool yourself. Jerry just loved her. You apparently never saw her, so don't talk about what you dont know.

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Poster: patkelley Date: Nov 5, 2006 7:15pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1995

I know everything buddy. I said she probably rocked, and I've heard some of her stuff and I like it. But it's not really apples to apples, even if she did jam with Garcia.

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Poster: direwolf0701 Date: Nov 5, 2006 7:21pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1995

true - you do know everything - i just forgot - ive read your posts -= my bad in doubtin your supreme knowledge. please forgive me

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Poster: patkelley Date: Nov 5, 2006 7:23pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1995

no worries!
PWK

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Poster: direwolf0701 Date: Nov 5, 2006 7:25pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1995

just bustin man - peace :) seriously

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Poster: Purple Gel Date: Nov 5, 2006 7:01pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1995

I don't agree, Raitt is a great artist, plays the blues/folk/rock etc with a lot of feeling. She puts on a great concert and surrounds herself with great musicians and her band is tight, and while she was no Duane or Lowell George, she is a great slide guitar players (and blows away Bobby in that regard). I've always loved her music, and while I agree that for most of their careers the boys far outshone her, by 1993 they were only a shell of the band that I knew and loved, and seeing them was more nostalgic for me than anything else.

This post was modified by Purple Gel on 2006-11-06 03:01:29

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Poster: darazn1 Date: Nov 7, 2006 9:08am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1995

The dead were a shell of their previous selves in '93? '93 was perhaps one of the most consistent of the closing years. Most shows had polish and shine, and as the year wore on, the mix got more and more balanced. '92 and 94-5 were disjointed by compare.

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Poster: lobster12 Date: Nov 5, 2006 10:15pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1995

A sore point for many. Many say they were "genius" because "it was their first show". Lots, like me, say, it's painful. Stating the obvious... Try the 3rd night in Salt Lake and the the Seattle show with the scarlet> Fire. I remember being sad/pissed leaving venues like Oakland and vegas that year.

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Poster: deadmax Date: Nov 5, 2006 4:38pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1995

That is a really good point to make. It's like a sign I had in my dorm room back in the 1920s: "When sex good it's wonderful, but when sex is bad...it's still pretty good." Now I'm not saying the Dead is like sex (although that does bring up many things that happen during a dead show that are like sex), it's just that some things and some people are pretty good even when they're not firing on all plugs.

I know this has happened to most people: We were at an NC show in late 80s early 90s. Everything was enhanced and we were looking forward to the show. During the first set, my wife and I just kept looking at each other like...WTF? We thought there were a couple of moments but pretty mediocre. Our two friends came up to us at break and said, "Wasn't that GREAT?!".

It's all about what you eat I guess.

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Poster: Earl B. Powell Date: Nov 5, 2006 5:05pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1995

Not as good as I once was, but as good once as I always was.

(Hell, who am I kiddin' - taking Viagra just to keep from pissing on my shoes.)

It's hard for us oldsters to realize that folks were getting on the bus right up to the end. It's that degree of familiarity that has these latter day converts pumping up shows from the 80's and 90's. It's their individual point of reference for quality and even if old guys like me don't agree, it's a natural tendency.

Why, when I was there age I walked 8 miles in the snow to see a Dead show, and 8 miles home. Uphill both ways. Whippersnappers.

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Poster: Arbuthnot Date: Nov 5, 2006 5:34pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1995

Shit, back in the day, i would of crawled on my belly over shards of glass for eight miles to see the GD.

This post was modified by Arbuthnot on 2006-11-06 01:34:37

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Poster: direwolf0701 Date: Nov 5, 2006 6:07pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1995

wouldn't have paid $5 bucks to see them in '95. ok, maybe i would have for the scene - but definitely not the show - would have paid more for Max Creek by that point. Just my personal opinion though.

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Poster: Arbuthnot Date: Nov 5, 2006 6:19pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1995

Oh yeah, this is a "1995" post. Well, i stopped seeing GD in '92 and even by then the shows had lost some of their shine. Anyway, dramatic effect my friend, dramatic effect.

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Poster: direwolf0701 Date: Nov 5, 2006 6:31pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1995

i understand - i stopped going in '90 - not for any particular reason of bad shows, but stuff in my life. when i started hearing 92 bootlegs, i was glad i was done. there are some gems, i admit, but overall, i was glad to stop.

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Poster: orchiddoctor Date: Nov 6, 2006 5:52am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1995

Disclaimer: I refuse to go "hear" music in stadiums on the grounds that a good musical experience should be intimate enough to allow one to actually hear it. Disclaimer 2: I got to see the Dead--often--in 100-500-1000 seat venues. I'm spoiled. Disclaimer 3: as a result, I heard the group develop from 1967--1974. I'm baised.


I think that in these issues there are three questions that each person should ask himself--because we all have different criteria. Each question becomes more subjective.

1) Does the artist perform competently?
2) Is the artist creative? Is he merely parroting, or is he adding something to the art? Is he just riding on past glory?
3) When you see the artist, is the environment condusive to a good experience?

Here's my take--not yours, mine.


1) They really began to perform competently from the getgo and continued to become much more than competent as the years went by. BUT that level seemed to diminish and become spotty by the end of the seventies. 1995 was simply embarassing. Like a good athelete, the dead should have disbanded before their strength waned. They were a nostalgia act, a party, a place to dance--but musically bankrupt.

2) What they did to music will never be duplicated. Never. They took rock, folk, blues, everything American and made it their own. The expanded songs from three to fifty minutes. They played free form masterpieces and balls to the walls rock. What's more is they grew. They never remained stagnant, never ran short of ideas, brought in a consisitent stream of great American songs, became a beast--five headed, six headed, seven headed--and threw their minds to the wind. They changed horses and sounds. They metemorphosed from a jug band to a bar band to a band beyond desscription. No question that they fulfilled the objectives of question number two like no other.

3) Here I will take some serious flack. Yes, I'm biased, but I believe that great music should be heard in a proper setting. When I first saw the group, it was in a tiny basement room in Manhattan. Maybe 100 people and five crazy, grubby hippies with a little too much acid and electricity. BANG went their amps, and BANG went our heads.
Viola Lee Blues. Hadn't heard anything like that before, and we not only heard it, we felt it. Down the block to the Fillmore East, to the Felt Forum, the Academy of Music.
Each year, the venues began to get larger as the band's popularity grew and as the Bill Graham types learned how to market this new music.

Then what? Small stadiums and basketball areneas where the beast roared mightily, but the sound began to suffer. I saw them at the Spectrum (Dick's Picks 36) and was blown away by that Dark Star, but watching from the balcony just didn't seem right. The intimacy was being lost, but the band seemed to be able to compensate with performance and soul. The, realizing that the days of small venues were gone, they developed the Wall of Sound so that everyone in the stadium could hear clearly the sweet music they were performing. Close your eyes and you are right in front of the stage. Then the band realized that things were still snowballing out of control from within and without, so they took a vacation. They dismantled the wall and returned a year and a half later performing in small venues again. A different sound--mellow, stripped, not as adventurous but more than competent, a trade off between soaring freely and hitting all the right notes. "Saint Stephen" on qualudes.Then the drugs, the booze, the bullshit. There goes Keith and in a blink here comes Brent. A new sound, a little better jamming, but the new songs have become weaker and weaker. The venues get larger and larger again. They play the Warfield/Radio City and produce a dozen or so excellent acoustic sets--clean and competent--and some weak electric sets. The fire is starting to die out in the belly of the beast.

Time goes by. They tour. They tour some more. They begin to lose track of what when and where. Some nights are competent, some not so good, some horrible. Still, the fans come, hoping for the on night. Then, in a stroke of horrible irony, Jerry gets sick, recovers, and they record "In the Dark." "A Touch of Grey" hits the charts and the band is now forced to perform in larger settings, many of them outdoors.

As the venues get larger, the crowds, which had already been changing, got more disjointed and out of conrol. In the beginning,anyone who went went for the moment--that precise instersticial flash when artists/audience/ experience all merged into one. But as the band grew, that particualar relationship altered. A line was drawn between the stage and the seats. By the eighties, the stage was ten feet higher than the audience. The concertgoers still contained fervent deadheads, but they were watered down by curiosity seekers, druggies, and drunks out for a good time. Not that the dead weren't a good time--it's just that they were once much more than this and you either got it or you didn't. Bigger, more impersonal, the beast became a machine. 200 people had become 40,000 people. The band could be viewed on screens. As to the music, as likely as not they phoned it in. Who was really listening anyway? The audience had stopped keeping the band honest. The band had stopped keeping each other honest. The band would even say that they had the most forgiving audience in the world. They toured because they had to--not because they wanted to.

Bigger, not better. And then Brent died. Another nadir. Replaced with Vince and Bruce--a bit of life back into the beast. But the young lions were turning fifty. Jerry couldn't remember the words. And, soon, he was back to nodding off, his chin on the mike.

The sets were increasingly formulaic. Oh wait-- a first set "Dew." Whoa!

Bigger--huge stadiums. What the Beatles once did at Shea, the Dead did all summer.

Okay, come on. What would you rather hear? A band that is in a groove, that is growing and blowing, in a setting where you feel like you are there, where you can see as well as hear, a situation where anything might happen and it was usually all good---or a sixty thousand seat stadium on a sweltering August afternoon, parked with 40,000 of your closest friends straining to catch a glimpse of fat Jerry on the screens as he forgets the words to "Bertha" for the hundreth time, wondering why they are still playing "Me and My Uncle," trying to predict what song will come out of space, all the while looking desperately for the beer vender?

Young musicians who look forward to playing and who are showcasing new tunes that are great, or old men who have been at it waaaay too long with nothing new to say?

Sorry! I calls them as I sees them.

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Poster: not_a_typical_daydream Date: Nov 6, 2006 9:55pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1995

I love your take on this, grate reading material from a grate perspective. I myself was born in late '70, Janis and Jimi and Jim were dead before I was alive. So I don't have any reference to that time other than the wonderful music that I still listen to. I know that the Dead were slipping as they got older, but for me, I always dug 10,000 dancing people in tie dye clothing. It was a pretty awesome spectacle. So I think for the younger fans like me, they were almost always up and good, and thanks to this wonderful archive, we are able to discover their peak years and they just rise above what was already a truly gratifying experience.

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Poster: orchiddoctor Date: Nov 7, 2006 5:27am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1995

The simplest distinction for me is that in the early days, you went to see the band and in the later days you went to see the show.

Nothing wrong with either one. I think the boys always provided an outlet for people to come and join the party--to have fun, dance, yell, sing, eat, drink, and be merry.

But, having entered the scene when before the 10,000 dancers--when it was just us and them and maybe a light show--I could never enjoy what you guys could.

Just like I refuse to pay $80 to watch Mick and Keith shake, rattle, and roll at a stadium near me.

Maybe it's all you freaking whippersnappers dancing like a ring around the sun. Yes, that's it--it's all your fault. . . .

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Poster: not_a_typical_daydream Date: Nov 7, 2006 6:04am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1995

I went to go see the Stones last November, the tix were free and I really only went to see Metallica. I blame all the corporates who have driven the price up. I think they play on our sentiments, but on the other hand, it's not everyday that you can pay $8.00 for a hot dog. Chances like that don't come around very often.

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Poster: deadmax Date: Nov 6, 2006 6:49am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1995

Whoa, OD.

Nicely put so early in the morning (or is it the end of the day for you?).

I always want to forgive them and that probably is the problem, not holding their feet to the fire and all. I get that it's your opinion and I respect that and I always like hearing someone else's opinion. It's interesting to me that at this forum I can hear from an "original" like you then read a post from young Max Chorak or whomever who didn't even get to see them.

My first show was 79 with Brent and I feel like I got to hear a lot of great music in the 80's. I went to some 90's shows but only a few were worth mentioning as has been said in the past. I wish (as others) that I could have seen them earlier but my life had a different path but I'm glad to have gotten on the bus when I did. And I'm glad when anyone gets on the bus at any time, it's just nice to have people to ride with.

Just want to say I appreciate all who give their viewpoints here. Long live the Forum.

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Poster: orchiddoctor Date: Nov 6, 2006 7:01am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1995

Thanks for the kidn reply. I have to be careful. I got flamed on another board--not that I mind getting flamed--but I was called on the carpet for seeming too arrogant because I was dismissive of the latter half of their career, and dismisive of deadheads in particular.

I'll always remember Jerry's statement that the dead were America's last great adventure--like hopping freight trains. They were. And for so many folks in the eighties--well, first they were often too young to have caught the early dead, and they still had the right to go out and enjoy some good usic, have a good time, take a vacation, fall out for a while.

I write only about the music and the adventure of "being there."

The last time I saw the dead was 1980 at the fabulous fox theater in Atlanta. They were supporting the Go to Heaven release, which I never really cared for. I hadn't seen them since December 1973, so, as you can imagine, I was in for a shock. I was 28, about the middle of the audience agewise, but old in dead years.

The concert seemed flat and lifeless to me.

But the other 5,000 kids disagreed.

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Poster: deadmax Date: Nov 6, 2006 7:31am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1995

How can 5000 Deadheads be wrong?

I had a friend who hung out with the Dead in the late 60's early 70's and we went to shows together in the 80's. During every show she had a great time - dancin and groovin. We drove our other friend's VW bus or my VW bus to the shows and did the whole experienc every time.

Invariably after every show she would complain that it wasn't as good as it used to be, Brent's sound was weird - whatever. Yet every show she boogied her butt off.

Go figure.

Nothing is a good as it used to be. Even I know that.

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Poster: orchiddoctor Date: Nov 6, 2006 8:52am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1995

And nothing nor noone is "wrong."

Somehow we are forever connected with time and place--especially in our youth. FOr me, the time was the sixties and the msuic was the dead, the beatles, the stones, hendrix, janis, the airplace, etc. Those are my memories. Each of you must make his own. That's part of the formula as to what makes me like one thing and someone else another.

I do think, however, that it was more fun to see Pearl Jam in 1992 at a small--very small--venue that it is to see them at an arena. Though I would go anyway. The crowd is charged up, and the band feeds off of that energy. Still a great show.

I imagine that folks a decade or three younger than I am grew up more on arena rock. Like a great college football, the tailgating is half the fun.

There is nothing wrong with cheering for your heroes even if they are in a batting slump.

I'm just no longer in college.

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Poster: not_a_typical_daydream Date: Nov 6, 2006 6:49am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1995

I have really enjoyed reading everyones opinions on this subject. I know they were pretty horrendous on most nights in this time period. I remember seeing them at the Cal Expo on 5/26/93 and maybe it was the mushroom sandwich I ate, but I thought they were ok, the Playin' in the Band was pretty good. I also remember walking in and going under this archway that said the happiest place on earth, and I agreed, it was.
Is it just me, or does anyone else miss all of the beautiful dancing girls?

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Poster: not_a_typical_daydream Date: Nov 5, 2006 9:21pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1995

Ok, so everyone abhors 93-95. Is it so bad that if they were loading the space ship and you were only allowed to bring 5 Dead shows from these years, you wouldn't bring anything?

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Poster: direwolf0701 Date: Nov 5, 2006 9:30pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1995

cant say that i would as long as i could bring other band's music - those years aren't "ship worthy" in my opinion. i would rather have the memory of the earlier years than the sad remembrance of those years.

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Poster: Purple Gel Date: Nov 5, 2006 11:00pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1995

"if they were loading the space ship and you were only allowed to bring 5 Dead shows from these years, you wouldn't bring anything?"

If they were loading the spaceship and the only food I could was boxed mac & cheese I would take it, however given a choice I never eat it because it's inferior food. Music, to me, is essential, and especially dead music, so if that's all I could take, I probably would, however, given the choice, I absolutely never listen to later (92-95) Dead, even shows that I attended. It is just so obvious how the band was deteriorating over that time and it is just an inferior product.